How Stuff Works
How to Detect if Someone’s
Stealing Your WiFi . . .
It may be hard to imagine, but just a mere 20 years ago, the Internetwas nothing more than a novelty — a way for incredibly smart college professors and researchers to share information, and for a few people to network across the newly developed World Wide Web.E-mail was nothing like it is today. The primitive e-mail systems found at universities or even through accounts offered with the first Internet service providers (ISPs) such as Prodigy and America Online were often difficult to use.
Fast forward to 2009 and things have changed significantly. Back in the day, you paid for Internet access by the minute. That’s not the case anymore. Like virtually every technology, changes occur quickly and often for the better. On top of that, the technology becomes cheaper and easier to use. The Internet has certainly gone through this transformation. The most recent advance in digital communication is wireless internet orWiFi. Found in coffee shops, libraries and airports throughout the world, WiFi has made using the Internet almost as common as using your cellular phone — which in itself is technology that exploded over the past decade. Unfortunately, unsavory activities inevitably find a way to enter even the most benign settings like the Internet, and that’s (probably) why you’re here.
Chances are you’re reading this article because you suspect someone is piggybacking or using your WiFi without your permission and you want to learn how to determine if you’re correct. When wireless squatters steal your WiFi, they slow down your bandwidth and what’s worse, they can even steal information off your computer or infect machines on your network with a virus. Fear not, this article will give you the ammunition to fight back. Let’s begin by taking a quick look at what makes up your WiFi network so you can prepare yourself to take control of the Internet connection you pay for. DETAILS HERE
How Cloud Computing Works
Let’s say you’re an executive at a large corporation. Your particular responsibilities include making sure that all of your employees have the right hardware and software they need to do their jobs. Buying computers for everyone isn’t enough — you also have to purchase software or software licenses to give employees the tools they require. Whenever you have a new hire, you have to buy more software or make sure your current software license allows another user. It’s so stressful that you find it difficult to go to sleep on your huge pile of money every night.
Soon, there may be an alternative for executives like you. Instead of installing a suite of software for each computer, you’d only have to load one application. That application would allow workers to log into a Web-based service which hosts all the programs the user would need for his or her job. Remote machines owned by another company would run everything from e-mail to word processing to complex data analysis programs. It’s called cloud computing, and it could change the entire computer industry.
In a cloud computing system, there’s a significant workload shift. Local computers no longer have to do all the heavy lifting when it comes to running applications. The network of computers that make up the cloud handles them instead. Hardware and software demands on the user’s side decrease. The only thing the user’s computer needs to be able to run is the cloud computing system’s interface software, which can be as simple as a Web browser, and the cloud’s network takes care of the rest.
There’s a good chance you’ve already used some form of cloud computing. If you have an e-mail account with a Web-based e-mail service like Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail or Gmail, then you’ve had some experience with cloud computing. Instead of running an e-mail program on your computer, you log in to a Web e-mail account remotely. The software and storage for your account doesn’t exist on your computer — it’s on the service’s computer cloud.
What makes up a cloud computing system? Find out in the next section.DETAILS HERE